Catholic kids and the REAL St. Valentine

Image of St. Valentine

Necessity is truly the mother of invention!

Here is my story!

In an attempt to spice things up a bit in our family homeschooling I was planning on doing all things St. Valentine! So off to the library I went. Only to find that practically EVERYTHING I found was about the cute (sometimes creepy looking) cupids with love arrows, hearts, flowers, chocolate BUT nothing about the real saint!

Just to paint the picture , here is a small sampling of titles you will find if you do a library or book search: Hugs and kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug by famed author Eric Carle, Groggle Monster’s Valentine (yes, that is a real book recommended on a popular teacher website), Valentine’s Day Jokes for Kids, The Secret Life of Squirrels – a Love Story, Little Ant’s Valentine, do I need to go on???

Needless to say I was dismayed and horrified at the same time!!

Who is the saint that causes us to be wild about hearts ♥, the color red and send friends and family messages of love every February 14?

The secular world is CLUELESS.

So I made it my mission to learn the real story behind this Catholic feast day!

Step 1:

I began our little evangelization journey/project towards reclaiming the REAL St. Valentine from the jaws of the secular world by first learning several prayers attributed to the saint, to ask him to intercede for our family and friends.

Step 2:

Next I went back to the library and scoured the shelves and on-line catalog, I took out a bunch of books that looked promising and eventually found a few good books to use for our nightly read aloud time. There are not many I would recommend but these definitely passed the mustard! Each one added different facts and historic details.

  • The Story of Valentine’s Day by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda
  • Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert
  • Hearts, Cupids and Red Roses by Edna Barth

Step 3:

The next thing you knew I was immersing myself in the transition from the pagan rituals and the symbolism of the symbols and colors surrounding this feast day! Naturally that then brought me to the history of the feast day and story of how a Pope helped to Christianize this day, his name is Pope Gelasius. So cool right?

In true form it was the Catholic Church elevating a pagan feast day and its symbols by celebrating the feast day of an early martyr of the Church, St. Valentine. 

Thus became our family tradition, to make cards that included sacred and beautiful images of the real St. Valentine, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! We use Scripture verses that speak of REAL love.

Step 4:

I designed it to counts as school work, by adding notebooking sheets for our narrations, mini-book templates of various shapes and designs to have the kids write about all they learned from the history I had written for them on several reference sheets. We also added the mini-books to lapbooks too!

Handwriting practice lessons for the week included Scripture verses I had collected with God’s unending love for His children! Coloring sheets of St. Valentine, were super handy for my little ones during nightly rosary or quiet time.

And I also had holy cards designed so we could print/color and share. This collection has something for everyone in the family!

My talented daughters helped me put all of this together in a 50 page printable packet ! It is well loved by family and friends who use it year after year, as their family tradition and more importantly as an evangelization tool to tell the REAL story of St. Valentine.

For that we are grateful!

Leave a comment on your family’s journey towards evangelizing the culture by reclaiming the saints!!

You too can invite a family you know from your homeschool community or from your parish and make beautiful St. Valentine Cards or postcards to exchange or bring to neighbors! Immerse yourselves in all thing St. Valentine!

The Ireland of Our Ancestors: A Collection of Discovery Activities

by Maryanne Patterson

What better way to begin the study of history or enhance your current history program than to study our ancestors. The Ireland of Our Ancestors packet contains a wealth of information and activities that could be used with a variety of ages too! Within the download are various sections and all the necessary craft materials and instruction sheets together, with each in its own envelope, so everything is literally right there and ready to go. For each section, there is a summary of the main points you may want to cover with your children, with several online references for further study. (All ages, 43 pages, PDF

Download contains the following sections:
• Alphabet and Language• Apparitions of Mary (with stories)• Agriculture & Economy• Blessings, Prayers and Proverbs• Calligraphy and Penmanship Practice• Currency• Flags of Ireland; • History• Maps• Music• Patron Saint and Other Saints• National Landmarks and Other Attractions• Recipes• Crafts (Celtic Cross Christmas Ornaments, St. Bridget’s Cross, Claddagh Friendship Note Cards, and an Emerald Isle Plastic Canvas Needle Craft).

Click here to obtain a copy: The Ireland of Our Ancestors 

Discover Crochet Kit

CK-001This terrrific kit comes to us from the mill that spins the wonderful 100% Pure Wool yarns since 1790 right here in the USA. The illustrated instructions are clear and guide you through basic stitches to create a variety of projects, you get to decide to make one large project or several smaller projects. The kit comes with 4 balls (6 oz. total) of 100% Pure Wool yarn spun in vibrant colors of peacock, violet, magenta and green. Includes a plastic crochet hook, and lovely glass beads with large holes to use as decoration or buttons. It won’t take long for your children to realize crocheting is a simple yet rewarding skill!

Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs

Sew What! BagsThe minute, yes the absolute first minute, this review copy showed up our daughters began planning out which bags they would make. In just one short month they have made handbags, totebags, backpacks, laptop bags, and more. Using leftover scraps from our material pile they have made bags they use every day and a bunch for their friends too! The adult crowd was instantly impressed with the results. Whether you find yourself toting groceries, books, baby supplies, gardening tools, or a wallet and some electronic gadgets, you and your kids will find a bag design to fit you need. The focus is on simple, pattern-free sewing that requires no previous experience — just an inventive spirit, some fun fabric, and a basic sewing machine. Jumpstart your creativity with “warm-up projects” that will carry just a single object, from a pair of eyeglasses to a pack of tissues. The 18 core projects show how to usea variety of fabrics to make totes, drawstring sacks, messenger bags, organizers, satchels, and purses in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Every project is shown in a full-color photo accompanied by step-by-step, illustrated instructions. Many more variations in size, fabric combinations, and styling features are also pictured to show just a few of the dozens of possibilities for customizing each project. (HC, 151 pages, beginner level sewing skill)

Fun with the Orphans: Stories, Games, Crafts, and Recipes from Maria, Molly, Ming, and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Fun with the OrphansWritten and compiled by Joan Stromberg

Your favorite characters are back again! The author expands each character by backtracking their lives prior to their journey to America. We visit Mother Cabrini and Maria in Italy, Molly in County Roscommon, Ireland and Ming in her small Chinese village. You will learn how to make one of Mother’s favorite dishes and each girl shares crafts, games and foods from her homeland. You will have to be dragged out of the kitchen once you learn how to make raviolis, Cathedral Window Cookies and Italian Potato Pie from Maria, Dublin Coddle, Irish Stew and potatoes of course from Molly and Sweet & Sour Pork, Fried Rice and Chinese Chews from Ming! Your children will have hours of fun trying to make Chinese letters, play Fox and Rabbit or make Mosaic vases. This amazing book is chock full of history and heritage, you will enjoy every minute of it! (Ages 7-10 [with some adult supervision], 121 pages, PB, $)

Reclaim the Saints Series: St. Patrick Hands-on Learning

There is much written about this beloved saint and many saint anthologies contain a brief synopsis of his life. He is the patron saint of Ireland and is most notably responsible for its conversion to Christianity….making Ireland become the land of “Saints and Scholars.”

There are numerous legends surrounding his life but the best way to come to know the true saint is through his own writings and in particular his testimonial, “Confessio”. How marvelous and glorious it is to learn about this saint through his own words. In his “Confessio” we hear the voice of a truly humble servant of Christ. In addition your family will begin to understand about the beginnings of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, learn the chaplet prayer to St. Patrick, make cards to send to family and friends and so much more in this Hands-on Learning material.

Included in this kit:

  • Information on St. Patrick
  • How St. Patrick’s Day celebrations began
  • The meaning behind the symbols of St. Patrick’s Day
  • Directions and prayers for a St. Patrick chaplet
  • St. Patrick’s Confession (Autobiography) to have family print to read aloud together
  • 3 Coloring pages:  Saint Patrick, Page from Book of Kells, Celtic Cross
  • Mini book templates (2 different – three flap books horizontal and vertical)
  • Notebooking pages-2 versions with lovely images
  • Full-color Holy Cards with St. Patrick prayers
  • Holy Cards in outline versions to color in
  • St. Patrick’s Day cards to send (2 versions, with prayers and ones to practice handwriting)

Click here to order your kit and Reclaim St. Patrick’s Day!

Thank you for supporting our family business and respecting our copyright of this material for single family use. For classrooms or large groups email us.

The Saint Nicholas Chocolate Coins Do-it-Yourself Kit

The St. Nicholas coins are back but in a BRAND NEW DIY kit to help your family celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th), to give you “holy” treats for Stocking Stuffers on Christmas morning and to give you that special gift for friends, family and coworkers that keeps Christ in Christmas too!

St Nick DIY Kit spreadThe kit includes:

  • Licensed beautiful, classical Holy Family images that you just can’t copy from the internet
  • Includes instructions to make three different size kits EASILY and Cheaply*
  • A brief history of St. Nicholas and the tradition
  • An original coloring page
  • St. Nicholas Holy Cards
  • Memory game

These timely treats you make and give are a  fun  and practical way to reclaim our saints and holy-days! We hear that lots of kids like to peel off the stickers and decorate their books and personal belongings with them. In fact, our four year old daughter is in love with what she affectionately calls her “Mary” stickers. We think this is a great way for all of our little “evangelists” to spread the Good News this Christmas! Celebrate with your family the Feast of St. Nicholas with this Do It Yourself Kit. Share the beauty of our Church with those you love easily and economically!!

Buy it NOW and DOWNLOAD  it immediately…NO SHIPPING!!

*you provide the chocolate coins and bag!

(Email us for group use)